Bellarmine student becomes "Big Shot" during game

Published: Jan. 5, 2013 at 4:29 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 at 4:48 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If you've ever been to an NBA or college basketball game you've probably seen it before: A huge prize is on the line if a fan can make several shots including one from mid-court. The problem? It rarely happens. Thursday night, it happened for a Bellarmine University student.

It's the shot that put Bellarmine fans in a frenzy and the name Casey Saulman in the record books.

Saulman was randomly selected before Thursday night's game against Quincy University.

Saulman was excited because if he hit a lay-up, he won free bread sticks from Impellizzeri's Pizza and if he managed to hit the 3-point shot he could win a free pizza.

Saulman had no clue, he had the skills to get the big prize.

He knew a nice trip for two to the Caribbean was on the line, but he was there to watch his roommate Knights guard Garett Ross.

Saulman shoots around with his friends and even though he played a little high school ball, they all knew when it came to making a half court shot, the odds were stacked against him.

"No one's ever done it," said his friend Jack Clare.

At the half, Saulman began the challenge while Ross was in the locker room listening to Coach Scotty Davenport, sort of. "They actually have a TV in there (the locker room) that has a monitor over the entire court so, you know, you can glance over there every once in a while and see what's going on, " Ross said.

He looked up to see Saulman under pressure.

In 30 seconds, he had to hit a lay-up, a free throw, a three pointer and the impossible half court shot.

"The free throw," Saulman remembered, "I rushed my first one and missed it and I was kind of trying to settle down and shoot it and I got a little rhythm going and hit the three and thought I might have a chance," he told WAVE 3 News.

His friend Jay Nicholson watched nervously.

Nicholson was chosen last year to try the challenge, but he choked in the half court like everyone else before him.

Nicholson said of Saulman, "The second it left his hand, I was like, this looks better than any other shot I've seen somebody shoot before."

"I just looked over to the sideline and people were saying I won," Saulman said, "I just thought of the Caribbean trip and started running and screaming and heard all the fans and it was crazy!"

Saulman says hitting the big shot ranks as one of the top moments in his life. As for the trip, all his friends are trying their best to get the invite but,it's probably going to his girlfriend.

His friends are too busy anyway, trying to get his amazing half court shot on ESPN.

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